Sunday, January 23, 2011

City council should have listened to the 50 plus speakers about their proposed condo tower plan.

W2TV - FIGHT the HEIGHT Jan17/11 from Sid Tan on Vimeo.

"The more we look at the resolution the worse it gets." That's what Wendy
Pedersen, Community Organizer for the Carnegie Community Action Project
(CCAP) said after city council passed the so called "emergency" resolution
about condo towers in the DTES.  "This resolution essentially helped council
avoid hearing approximately 50 speakers today who were going to speak loud
and clear about their opposition to more condos," she said.

When CCAP volunteer Harold Lavender heard the news that he couldn't speak,
he said "I feel ripped off.  We should have had a chance to speak.  I feel
excluded from the community now.  I live in Chinatown and they just broke
the DTES into artificial pieces based on the priorities of developers.  If I
had a say, I could have influenced their decision.  This process is a

Five of the condo sites in Chinatown may be going to public hearing in
February and could still go ahead.  Two or more condo sites might go ahead
after the election depending on the outcome of the newly proposed local area
planning process.  This is really bad, said Jean Swanson, the Coordinator of
CCAP:  "It's really bad to have the decision on the 2 sites happen in
December because it takes off all the pressure on this council.  The city's
election is in November."

CCAP has been organizing since 2008 against the Historic Area Height Review,
the city's plan to flood the DTES with new market housing.  Although today's
decision is a victory in that the outpouring of opposition forced the city
to delay their decision, there is still much work to be done.  CCAP will
continue to push the city for a unified planning process to secure, once and
for all, the tenure and assets of the low-income community.  CCAP will not
abandon the low-income DTES residents who are excluded from 5 of the 8 DTES
areas not covered by the new proposed local area planning process.  As Wendy
Pedersen of CCAP says:  "DTES residents must not be priced out, pushed out
or made to feel excluded in their own neighbourhood."


Contact:  Jean Swanson:  604-729-2380; Wendy Pedersen:  604-839-0379